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Times New Viking: Dig Yourself

Times New Viking: Dig Yourself

Release Date:2006

By Marc Masters | Posted 2/15/2006

By the late ’90s, with the rise of cheap computer-based recording, “lo-fi” as a genre bit the dust before anyone could get eBay value from a discarded four-track. Lately, though, lo-fi is showing signs of life in the warbling folk of Devendra Banhart, the AM-radio blender of Ariel Pink, and, most excitingly, the in-the-red rock of Columbus, Ohio, trio Times New Viking. The band’s Dig Yourself debut spits out hoarse, crashing music so feverish that it even awoke Siltbreeze, one of the best lo-fi labels of the ’90s, from its recent slumber.

Tape hiss and grimy distortion fit Times New Viking so well because the band’s frantic, tooth-decaying hooks are inherently raw. Dig Yourself most resembles the caffeinated bounce of early Superchunk, full of bashing cardboard drums, sloppy riffs, and hyperactive male-female yell-alongs. “Lion & Oil” chops raucous chords into fuzzy mush; “Dance Walhalla” charges through the speakers; and “We Got Rocket” sounds like a Clash anthem caked in Fun Dip. Like its ancestors, Times New Viking may ultimately clean up its act, and its punchy tunes will likely survive. But nothing will sterilize the vigor of Dig Yourself, a blurry snapshot of a group with untamed ideas oozing from its greasy pores.

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